Nearly a year after Hurricane María, relief efforts are still as urgent as ever. The island’s power grid remains unstable and blackouts are frequent, and a dire mental health crisis continues to plague Boricuas across the diaspora.
Luckily, activists – and some entertainers – haven’t given up the cause yet. On Wednesday, New York rapper Princess Nokia announced a new initiative called Hood 2 La Gente, a campaign intended to mobilize the community and provide direct support to organizations on the ground in Puerto Rico. Nokia announced the campaign on Instagram, voicing her concerns over Puerto Rico’s continued colonial status, as well as government neglect in the aftermath of the storm. “When the government intentionally neglects and actively works to hurt our people for profit, it’s on us to organize and fight for our communities. We understand as working class and oppressed peoples living in America, we are struggling in so many ways under the same system that is hurting the people of Puerto Rico. But when we combine the little bit we’ve got as individuals, we can make a huge impact,” she wrote. Nokia specifically expressed her frustration with the major non-profits that squander donor resources. “We know we cannot trust the government or the millionaire non-profits aligned with it to fight for our people,” she declared.
Nokia and her team are aiming to raise at least $2,000 for each organization involved in the project, and they are also accepting in-kind donations of tools, non-perishable food items, school supplies, and more. The local organizations involved in the campaign include Sol es Vida, El Hormiguero, Luis Llorens Torres projects, Urbe Apie, the Puerto Rico Trans Youth Coalition, and El Centro de Apoyo Mutuo de Utuado.
In June, Nokia announced the cancellation of her show in Mexico City to focus on community-oriented work for Puerto Rico. It seems this initiative is the result of that labor.
Watch the full video announcement below, and donate to the cause over at GoFundMe.